03:05 PDA Bulletin - that 'dodgy' justification for war
- 03:05 PDA Bulletin
Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are still missing months after U.S.
troops entered Baghdad. British PM Blair is facing political heat as
former Cabinet members testify before Parliament. The following news
summary appeared on 4 NI news service < http://www.4ni.co.uk > on 17
"Prime Minister Tony Blair faced major embarrassment today as former
leader of the House of Commons, Robin Cook, attacked the
government's credibility over the war on Iraq. Speaking at the
Foreign Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into the government's
handling of the Iraq crisis, Mr Cook insisted that intelligence
reports leading up to the war on Iraq had been "sexed up", and that
the threat posed by Saddam Hussein had been "exaggerated". Mr Cook
described the government's September dossier on Hussein's
weapons of mass destruction as "dodgy", and suggested that both the
UK and US intelligence inside Iraq before the war began, was
insufficient. He alleged that intelligence material had
been "selected" in order to justify the case for war. He also
reiterated his belief that he doubted Iraq possessed any WMDs.
"Fellow ex-cabinet minister and former International Development
secretary, Claire Short, also addressed at the inquiry in much the
same vein. She described the Prime Minister's handling of Iraq as
"an honourable deception," and insisted that most of the Cabinet had
been sidelined in decision-making over the war. She also alleged that
the UK and US had decided to go to war on Iraq as early as last
"Whilst these accusations have largely been repeated before
most completely in both ministers' resignation speeches they
appear less like ministerial sour grapes following the institution of
an official inquiry by the Joint Services Committee into Iraq's WMDs."
This is a good moment to review the documentation of the 2002-
2003 inspections period and contemporary assessments of U.S./U.K.
diplomatic and political maneuvers in relation to the inspections.
In that regard PDA Websites have some excellent resources.
The "War Report" archive on inspections --
"First Strike Guidelines: the case of Iraq"
by Charles Knight. PDA Briefing Memo #25, 16 September 2002 (revised
and updated 10 March 2003) --
"Claims and evaluations of Iraq's proscribed weapons"
by Glen Rangwala. University of Cambridge, U.K., updated 18 March
2003. Posted on the Traprock Peace Center Website --
And check out what is new at PDA -- http://www.comw.org/pda/new.html